"23 Marchmont Road
Sun. Oct. 27th/40
My I was glad to receive so many letters from you last week. Eight, with only one missing. No. 6. Honey that is great. So far I have managed to fall far behind, but I'll catch up soon.
I was over here Thursday evening to get my mail and Miss Sendamore invited me over for the weekend, which was very nice of her. You can imagine how pleasant it is when I tell you I am seated on the chesterfield before an open fire, having just come in from a stroll across the park with Simon. Betty went to Chippenham Friday night or yesterday morning and will be there until a week from tomorrow. It seems that this was a complete surprise to her and a mighty pleasant one. Miss Sendamore and I are alone. Neighbors of hers came in last night and spent the night with her in the dugout. Today we have lunch with them at their house. The air is cool outside and one appreciates walking briskly or remaining indoors before a fire.
You were no doubt surprised to learn that I am working for a living. I started last Wednesday and have worked three and a half days. It is most menial work but necessary in the face of such destruction. Everybody is doing something to help in this struggle and my patience just became exhausted. I had to do something useful so I scouted around until I got this job. We are removing debris from a factory building which came jolly near being put out of business altogether. Fortunately production is being maintained and we are helping to clear away the mess caused by a bomb which landed plumb on the stock room. I immediately moved my 'diggs' (lodging) to No. 9 Bonamy St., way out in the East end. Please don't use this address, i.e. "9 Bonamy" as I don't expect to be there for very long. I was determined not to be idle and it gives me great satisfaction indeed to be self-supporting at least. I work from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (with half-hour for lunch). We get 1s. 5d. per hour. Yesterday I drew 1 pound 12 s. which is the pay for 3 days (24 hours).
My room is quite comfortable. An elderly lady, 65 years, has managed to remain in her home, as very few people have in that area, and is glad indeed to have me with her. I pay her 8 s. a week for the room. The windows are broken out and a large hole is in the roof of the house, but at least there is water. I have a sink just next to my room which is very convenient. I still have to burn candles for light upstairs. There is electric light downstairs and a small coal stove in the living room. I am privileged to use the living room whenever I desire. (There goes the air raid warming, the weird noise of the sirens gives one the creeps.) (We have had three warnings already this morning.). I have so far only managed to get tea and buns to eat. As the entire district has been badly wrecked, there is not a restaurant for blocks. One night I did manage to get a slice of fish and chips. I am not suffering for something to eat, Dearie. I can always make a meal. I am just describing the conditions as they are. I have thought of getting the lady to cook my meals for me. It will cost more but I may do so, at least one meal a day. I shall see her about it. I have heaps of bed clothes so please don't worry. I have all that one needs to be comfortable. I do wish you could see that particular part of London. It would give you a remarkable knowledge of the actual affects of bombing. When I tell you I inquired of twenty or thirty houses in the district before I could find one room even fit to live in you will have some idea what it is like. People leave the area at six o'clock in the evening to sleep in the tubes and to visit relatives for the night as far away as Richmond. The few people who remain, like the old lady, take shelter in their dugouts. I prefer my bed on the second floor. People are spending from twelve to sixteen hours per day in the dugouts these days--yet the work goes on and the spirit of the people is wonderful. I am sending you a copy of 'Post' that yo might obtain a real idea of conditions here. Of course some parts of London are practically normal, as very little damage has been don so far. It is an experience of a lifetime to pass through the tubes (subways) and see thousands (millions) of people lying down side by side, to spend the night. They do it so willingly and merrily, one cannot but feel how wonderful these people are. Children, young people, middle aged and old are all there, night after night, sleeping in their blankets, coats or whatever they have. The tubes afford wonderful protection but are very stuffy at times. However the people just insisted on using them and the authorities had to submit. Great spirit. The pictures in Post are absolutely correct and actual.
Well, Dearie, you are wonderful. I am so glad Walter & Wilsons installed a new furnace for you. Whenever I shall be able to pay them I know not, but believe me I shall and I will. That d-m fool Flafferty had better mind his behavior. I won't have you worried because of his d-m foolishness. I wish you would just caution him and if that doesn't work please have no more to do with him or his. He is not worthy of help and I shall worry if you are exposed to his disagreeableness. Please don't run any risks Dearie. I feel very sorry for Mrs. Flafferty and Marjory, but after all Sweetheart there is no necessity of you becoming a martyr.
When I cabled Doug for 10 pounds I was definitely given a post on the staff of Critchley. He assured me it was mine if I wanted it. Naturally I considered everything as in order and felt that it was only a matter of waiting for a week or so. This is as Critchley had advised me. Evidently he has not had things altogether his own way. I have heard from him once or twice, as you already know. I have passed the selection committee and am still waiting for instructions. They tell me I am as good as being in but, believe me, I want to hear definitely before I am convinced. I am hard boiled. No doubt this week will bring me news of some sort. I am very sorry that I have been such a worry to you all and certainly would never have caused you such suspense of my own accord. But believe me Dearie, I'm not a bit worried now. I can endure to the end and we are going to come out alright if we stick by our guns. Please don't worry about me. You have enough to worry about. I have delayed writing to Doug because I have not had anything definite to tell him. I shall write him this week.
Your snaps arrived yesterday. I was very glad to receive them. I would like to have one of you alone. I am such a queer looking object it is not fair to you that my 'physiq' should appear and spoil yours.
I am so glad that your friends and neighbors are so good and considerate of you. It must help you to pass the long hours. I only hope it will not be long before you are on your way over here. I certainly miss you and long for you. Just think Honey, but the time you receive this letter it will be our Anniversary. I do wish I were with you, what a celebration we would have. Some quiet spot in this Islands would make a most delightful background for such a happy occasion. 1934 & 1935 were joyful years as have been the succeeding years. But we were not altogether overcome with worry in those years. More of the good times are in store for us and we are not going to be denied them. All the joy and happiness in the world and heartfull of love and a life consecrated to you and your happiness is all I have to offer my Sweetheart. Please keep yourself from harm and sickness.
It is almost lunchtime now.
By the way Dearie, shouldn't this letter score three or four for one. I'll be generous and count it but one.
Heaps of love and kisses and an extra big hug to comfort you and I'll not snore tonight as an extra anniversary gift.